Drop-off Center to Accept Fluorescent Bulbs from Small Businesses

The Town Council voted 5-0 Monday night to amend the Town Code related to solid waste and recycling to include fees for collecting limited quantities of mercury-containing light bulbs from small businesses.

The Solid Waste and Environment Committee conducted an informal survey along Route 102 (Nashua Road) and found larger businesses are using professional maintenance and management companies for proper mercury light bulb disposal, but smaller businesses find contracting with the management companies to be cost prohibitive, Public Works Director Janusz Czyzowski told the Council.

“Not knowingly, they are probably contaminating the environment by dumping the bulbs in Dumpsters,” he said, noting the practical solution to the problem is letting small businesses in Londonderry dispose of mercury light bulbs at the Town’s drop-off center.

Local small businesses would be limited to 10 fluorescent bulbs per drop-off, and would be charged a fee of 25 cents per linear-foot, or 50 cents per compact bulb.

Czyzowski said the cost of collecting fluorescent bulbs from small businesses at the drop-off center would be subsidized by the fees collected.

“This doesn’t cost us any money, we’re already there collecting from residents. And we won’t be overwhelmed because we’re only collecting 10 bulbs at a time,” he said.

The Town plans to notify small businesses of the change and promote the new service to prevent any future improper disposal of mercury containing bulbs.

In other business Monday night:

• Town Manager Kevin Smith said the Merrimack Reliability Project team conducted door-to-door outreach to neighbors of the proposed electricity transmission line project between Wiley Hill Road and the Hudson town line, where significant clearing will occur.

Last week, the team visited neighbors on Severance Drive, Elwood Road, Cedar Lane, Jason Drive and Shadow Ridge Road, leaving letters inviting neighbors they were unable to speak with to an informational Open House with National Grid and Eversource employees that was to be held on May 6 at Matthew Thornton Elementary School, after the Londonderry Times went to press.

• The Council voted 5-0 to approve the expenditure of $1,182 from the Expendable Maintenance Trust Fund for winter maintenance at the Town Hall; repair of a fire alarm at the Town Hall; repair of an automated external defibrillator at the Town Hall; repair of a rear fire exit door at the Town Hall and repairs to a wall at the Senior Center.